How the Super-Rich Are Coping with the Crisis

For most multimillionaires, says Weber, emotion plays no role in their investments. Nevertheless, some of these eminently reasonable people are susceptible to the kinds of small gestures that private bankers use to promote good business relations, such as invitations to go sailing with an America's Cup team or to be chauffeured to the Formula One race in Monaco in a Rolls-Royce -- even at the risk of "getting stuck in traffic for hours and missing the race," says Weber.

But he doesn't like to talk about such services, or somewhat more discreet favors. Inebriated clients have been known to call him in the middle of the night or to invite him to a cocktail party so that he can later give them his opinion of their daughter's new boyfriend.

One of the more delicate services Weber is sometimes asked to perform is to purchase an apartment in Paris, London or Rome for the mistress of one of his super-rich clients. This often leads to "very tense discussions" years later, he says, when the will of the now-deceased client is opened.

Translated from the German by Christopher Sultan

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